Photo: Hello I'm Nik

New Year, Same Me

There is a very popular method of goal setting referred to as the SMART criteria. Originally pioneered by George T. Doran in the 1980s, the SMART method was drilled into me at university. The criteria are as follows:

Specific, Measurable, Assignable, Realistic, Time-related.

Perhaps the reason why New Year’s resolutions are so popular is because they lend themselves to the T in SMART. Although the first of January is an arbitrary date like any other within a year, it is a clean signpost that one can measure their progress from. I have a friend who vehemently despises New Year’s resolutions. His belief is that if you want to make a change in your life, you should not wait until the new year to do so. I can empathise with him, yet I also think we have been conditioned to perceive a new year as a new chapter, and hence resolutions have grown in popularity. I am going to document my own goals for 2018 below. This post is for my dear friend - hi, JP!

  1. Watch my language. I personally believe I swear too much, and I feel like I have gotten lazy with my pronunciation of words in every day conversation. In 2018, I would like to be more mindful of the way I speak (in both vocabulary and tone!).

  2. Withhold judgement. According to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, I am an INTJ. My ‘J’ (judgement) is particularly dominant (rather than ‘perception’). While I rarely verbalise this judgement, the amount of internalised judgement occurring within me is probably at an unhealthy level. I think this is something I need to work on.

  3. Solidify where I stand politically. There are many political issues of which I have views that are purely based on emotion. This is strange considering I am quite a logical person. This year, I would like to read into political issues more, understand the motivation and policies behind what governments do, and decide where I stand on such issues.

  4. Reconnect with my hobbies. While I am quite devoted to my time at the gym, I would like to cook more, watch more documentaries, and read more books. It is likely that I will need to schedule in specific times in my diary for each hobby.

  5. Continue learning about different securities. There are so many different securities and investment vehicles out there for people to put their money into. I feel I have just scratched the surface, and I would love to continue learning more! I also think it would be valuable to fully understand and appreciate each mechanism’s role in the greater economic scheme. Looking at you, cryptocurrencies!

  6. Call out people if they are wrong and stand up for myself. This may be in situations where I feel like I am being disrespected, or if people are having a discussion that is floating ideas that are not fair to a particular group of people. I know the term “social justice warrior” gets thrown around a lot, but I think we all owe each other a bit more respect, and some people do not seem to know what that means. They need to be taught. I am their teacher.

I do realise that not all these goals are SMART, but the simple act of putting my list online may help me stay accountable!